The Holderness Coast Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG for short) was set up in 2011 to help sustain the local fishing industry and coastal communities in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The FLAG covers all of the coastal parishes from Flamborough Head in the north to Spurn Point in the south and has used European Fisheries Fund and Government money to support a large number of projects in the area.
The local fishery has seen major change in recent years with the decline of traditional whitefish stocks like cod and haddock and a move to catching shellfish; primarily crab, lobster and whelks.
Bridlington is the largest port in the area with average landings of over 2,600 tonnes of seafood generating sales of over £5.5m. Hornsea and Withernsea are the two other main landing sites. The Holderness coast is now the largest lobster and crab fishery in Europe with total landings of over 3,400 tonnes valued at £7.5m. per annum.
The FLAG is a public/private sector partnership and has a main Board which is responsible for overseeing the FLAG programme and approving projects. The Board has representatives from the fishing industry as well as other local businesses, together with representatives from local authorities, other maritime related public agencies and community organisations. It developed a Local Development Strategy in 2011 which was approved by the Marine Management Organisation and has since guided the work of the FLAG.
The FLAG has been allocated a total of £1.8m of European and Government money, which was fully committed to over 60 projects by June 2014. This has levered in over £700k of private sector money and has funded a wide range of projects covering the broad themes of sustaining the fishing industry, developing tourism and building stronger communities.
In 2016 a successor programme, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, is to be introduced and it is hoped to be able to continue the work of the FLAG through to 2020.